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Germany

Czech PM Plans Gesture Towards Sudeten Germans

Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said Monday that he had prepared a plan for a reconciliatory gesture towards Sudeten German anti-fascists who were expelled from the country following World War II. Prague has so far refused to repeal the decrees ordering expulsion of 2.5 million Germans from Czechoslovakia, still an emotive issue 60 years after the end of the war, despite pressure from Germany and Austria ahead of the country's EU accession in May 2004. But Paroubek declined to specify what form the gesture could take before he discussed his plan with domestic politicans and his foreign counterparts. The 1945 Benes decrees stripped Germans of the property and expelled them for their support for Hitler's annexation of the Sudetenland area in the run-up to World War II. Some 25,000 to 30,000 people died during the expulsions.

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